Last month, Mattituck resident Dan Catullo told the Board that he was attacked by two dogs running loose on in Mattituck and wants the board to create a town-wide rule that all dogs must be kept on leashes at beaches.
But technically, a law already exists that bans all dogs from all recreational areas in town, including beaches, according to Southold Town Supervisor Scott Russell.
“Under chapter 193, which was written in 1981, dogs are not even allowed on beaches,” he said during Tuesday’s work session at Town Hall. “But I think this is too restrictive and we need to balance this out to accommodate all sides.”
Members of the town board were not sure whether Southold Town preserves were all pet friendly or not — “management plans might be different for each,” said Councilman Al Krupski. Russell said that the code needed a reworking to define exactly what are public recreational areas in town and how the law should address the strictness of keeping dogs on leashes in public.
“As the code is written now, it’s not something we would enforce,” Russell said.
As a dog owner who often uses Bailie to run his retriever — with or without a leash depending on the situation, he said — Mattituck resident Garret Meade said that he was concerned about the prospect of the town writing and enforcing a leash law for dog owners on the beach.
“I don’t see anything broken here — lots of people walk their dogs responsibly,” he said. “If I see kids on the beach I leash my dog until I’m past them.”
Russell reiterated that the current law as written is very restrictive if the town were to enforce it, and that it needs to be rewritten to reflect the current time and place of dogs and dog owners roaming Southold Town.
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